We receive many submissions from bands all around the world through our website. Sometimes, though, one comes through that really grabs me. Javier Sepúlveda’s “Pulse of Nature” is one such album that has really blown me away in the last few weeks. Javier was kind enough to provide both digital and physical formats, and so I’ve found myself listening to this evocative piece of art in my car, at work, and pretty much anywhere I can.
“Pulse of Nature” is essentially a multicultural project with Javier at the head. He has landed the support of over 95 musicians for this project, the core of whom are Leo Margarit on drums, Colin Edwin and Braulio Aspe on bass, Mauricio Olivares on keys, Arlette Jacquier on some vocals (one track only), and, of course, Javier on guitars. Additionally, you will hear the Symphony Orchestra of Chile; featuring violin, viola, cello, double bass, trumpet, trombone, horn, tuba, flute, obo, bassoon, and percussion. Now, that’s a lot to take in, for sure; but this album never gets in over its head. I attribute that fact to the inspiration for this work of art.
Javier’s concept behind “Pulse of Nature” is a celebration of the natural beauty and absorbing landscape of his home country, Chile. You can hear from the first note to the last the pure and unadulterated love he has for his home country. The majority of the album plays like progressive metal, complete with meaty riffs, bulbous bass, and fantastic drumming. On top of that, the keys and orchestrations present add an ethereal quality to everything, rendering incredibly beautiful music.
I’d even go so far as to say that “Pulse of Nature” is cinematic, almost classical, in composition; with its giant melodious guitar movements surrounded by support from the other wonderful sounds and instruments, featuring everything from beauteous strings to the organic sound of singing bowls. All of this achieves a sort of visualization of the beautiful Chilean countryside, as if it were a celebration or nostalgic ode to the country that Javier loves. It almost brings tears to my eyes, as his love for both music and his country are so palpable here.
All of the performances, as you probably expect, are excellent. This is no surprise because these musicians would need to be of the highest caliber to achieve the visualization and feelings present. The stand out, for me, is Javier himself. His guitars are exquisite and deliberate in composition, creating this open air feeling, as if you are really in the Chilean landscape. He doesn’t overdo the heavier portions, either, as he places them perfectly. Most of the guitar work, however, is melodious and incredibly catchy.
The album itself fades in with the spacey “Whispers of Vilu”, but absolutely explodes with one of my favorite tracks, “Mineral Spirit”. This track has such an incredible guitar lick that I can hear it in my head right now; and, like the rest of the album, has tons of wonderful space to grow and progress. The sunshine of “The Greatest Dharma” comes next, and is followed by the outstanding title track, which starts with some vocal inflections from Arlette and transitions into scary, almost mad instrumental brilliance. My favorite track, however, is the final song, “Waves of Energy”. It contains everything I love about the rest of the album, from powerful metal grooves, to illustrious guitar licks, even to fantastically placed programming and accents.
Javier’s “Pulse of Nature”, then, is an event in progressive music. It is one of those albums that literally sounds like something you can see, and ends up feeling very familiar with time. I suppose the familiarity is due to that piece of us that loves our hometowns and the familiar landscape, and those exact nostalgic feelings are painted all over this majestic album. Javier had done Chile proud, but we reap the benefits. Be sure to experience this fantastic celebration and journey.